I’m feeling more than a little behind with my gardening jobs this month. Everything just grows so fast at this time of year! I’ve managed to stay on top of things at the allotment, but the garden is another story. And with all the loveliness and perfection of the Chelsea Flower Show on the horizon, it feels like I need some quick gardening jobs now more than ever.
Despite this urge to gain control in the garden, I don’t think you can ever really be ‘on top’ of it at this time of year – and who wants to have nature buttoned-down like that anyway? – but a few 10 minute jobs can keep you on the right side of chaos. Here are some ideas for quick garden jobs for April and May that will give you a big return.
Tidy up climbing plants
At this time of year with such fast growth, it’s easy to get into a situation where climbing plants have run amok. Spend a few minutes tying-in new shoots to their supports and you’ll not only make the plant look better, you’ll avoid snapped stems caused by heavy winds or the plant’s own weight.
Encourage garden wildlife
This sounds like a big job, but it really doesn’t have to be. Simple things like putting out bird food, leaving a ‘messy’ corner of the garden or choosing plants that are good for pollinating insects can make a huge difference to how much wildlife visits your garden and makes a home there. It helps our native species thrive, it’s good for the garden and it’s a brilliant way to get the kids involved and interested outdoors too. Take a look at my post on how to make your garden a home for wildlife for more ideas.
Keep on top of weeds
It’s not just the plants you want to grow that are going for it at this time of year; weeds are doing their best to take over too. Taking a bit of time now to get rid of them before they get too established will save you lots of time in the long run, as well as giving your plants the space and nutrients they need in order to thrive.
Look after your lawn
If, like mine, your lawn is looking a bit worse for wear after a few months of neglect (and endless games of football and cricket), this is a great time to give it some tlc. A high-nitrogen fertiliser will give it a real boost and encourage lots of new growth. If you have lots of weeds and/or moss, a combined feed, weed and mosskiller is a better option – it will result in bare patches, but these will fill in quickly at this time of year, or you can sow some lawn seed to speed things up a bit.
Sit back and enjoy it!
It’s so easy to feel like any time in the garden must be spent doing – but it’s so enriching to spend time in the garden just being. Kids know instinctively just how to get this one right; they revel in the sensory experience of being outdoors. I’ve been taking their lead and have been shamelessly lingering in my garden over the last couple of weeks, just enjoying the flowers, the sounds and the scents. It makes all the hard work feel worthwhile, and it makes me feel great. So if you do one thing in the garden this week, make it this one – everything else can wait just that little bit longer.